BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.
George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part. . . because she’s a boy.
With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte – but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
Okay, this received a rarity: a five star rating. All reviewers know just how difficult reviewing a book that you adored can be so I’ll try my hardest to make at least a little bit of sense.
This book, whether you are part of the LGBT+ community or not, is so important and I’m so glad it exists and is available for other children to read and enjoy as much as I did – maybe even more. People try to deny this to children and this is very harmful, especially to the LGBT+ children that already exist. I don’t talk too much about my identities on my blog, but I do on my Twitter, and a book like this would have been so helpful to me when I was George’s/Melissa’s age. This is an #OwnVoices book from a non-binary person who uses they/them pronouns and also identifies as trans.
I liked them a lot, especially obviously George/Melissa (her name is Melissa, but in case you don’t know who I’m talking about if you haven’t read the book, she is also the “George” in the title but that is not her preferred name) and Kelly, Melissa’s best friend. Kelly was so super supportive of Melissa right from the start, even when Kelly didn’t completely understand this, and this is adorable and wonderful. We all deserve someone like that. It also sends a message out to those who are friends with trans people and even those who aren’t that you don’t have to understand it to want to learn about it and become someone who can be that kind of support.
Even people around Melissa who were hesitant and even angry at first learn about what being trans was and became great supporters to her as well. It was just so cute and lovely to see. I know the real world isn’t always like that, but this was a reminder that sometimes it is.
The plot took a lot of twists and turns. Not all of them unexpected, some were! Again, I love how Kelly was in full support of Melissa and wanted what was best for her and to give her what she would love. It was such a pure friendship, and you don’t often see cute f/f friendships that aren’t about jealousy!
It went in a really good direction but I don’t want to say too much because spoilers!
I really liked it! It was short, sweet and simple as is the way with most middle grade books but it was a really nice break from the heavy stuff I’m used to reading! Melissa speaks a lot about how she feels and what things make her feel certain ways, which was relatable and also informative to others not in her position or a similar position.
An absolutely adorable tale of how a girl told the world she was assigned the wrong gender and how children deserve to be told LGBT+ stories, too, they are not reserved for people who are 18+. They are not dirty things that should be kept a secret. More and more people are knowing who they are and coming out of their holes, it’s truly wonderful to see and I’d love for all children to know that their feelings (whether current or in the future) are valid and important!
Until next time,